Morning, Tuesday, 13th October 2020
THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine key current issues for further education in England.
We expect discussion on implications that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have on the sector, with colleges currently closed and students studying at home - and the phased re-opening of colleges for some students in key assessment years from the 1st June.
With the DfE currently drafting a White Paper for further education, those attending will also assess way forward for funding and oversight of the sector, looking at:
- capital investment in the FE sector - priorities for the future,
- financial sustainability - and collaboration between colleges and the impact of mergers and interventions,
- managing change - restructuring colleges, the future of the merger process and supporting the fe workforce,
- preparing for the future - FE and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and
- FE and society - positioning colleges at the centre of their communities, and asserting their role in addressing local and national skills gaps.
The discussion in detail:
The COVID-19 crisis - impact, what has been learned, and the way forward:
- How colleges have adapted to maintaining provision during the pandemic;
- The future of delivery of teaching in the sector, with a potential move to more online or blended learning;
- The potential implications of the likely reduction in international students, particularly in the short term; and
- Initial implementation of T Levels, with colleges preparing to teach the new qualifications from this September.
Finance and collaboration:
- The government approach to supporting and intervening to improve financial resilience and quality for colleges;
- How increased funding and new investment by government is being used by colleges, and how to maximise its impact going forward;
- Ways that colleges are effectively working together, particularly in overcoming funding pressures and to improve provision; and
- In light of capital investment commitments by the government, how colleges can develop effective plans to ensure that the money is spent effectively.
Mergers and oversight:
- Potential models for college governance with suggestions that some colleges might be brought under state control;
- How colleges are adapting to the college oversight measures designed to improve the sustainability of the sector;
- The future of the merger process and whether structural changes resulting from area reviews have led to a more robust and sustainable college sector and improved learning experience; and
- Assessing steps taken by the FE Commissioner, such as structure and prospects appraisals (SPAs), in evaluating merger proposals and what can be learnt from the initial area review process.
- Priorities for supporting the FE workforce and ensuring appropriate levels of expertise; and
- Recruitment and retention of future leaders.
Contribution to the community and local economy:
- How to cement the position of colleges as anchor institutions for their local communities, with Government recently urging colleges to engage with the £3.6bn Towns Fund in their local area;
- What local communities and employers should be able to expect from colleges;
- Strategies for improving connections and collaboration between colleges and local businesses;
- The role colleges can play in tackling regional inequalities and improving local productivity through providing an effective lifelong learning service; and
- The relationship between FE colleges and HE - including the future balance of funding and discussion on which sector should be providing which courses.
Why this is relevant: the context:
It takes place with:
- The expected forthcoming publication of an FE White Paper by the Department for Education which will potentially focus on funding, qualifications, the workforce and careers;
- The recent commitment by government to funding for the sector with the aim of strengthening leadership and governance across FE through:
- introduction of the College Collaboration Fund to support colleges working together to boost the quality of education and training on offer, and
- investment in tailored CPD for college leaders and governors across a range of areas.
- The Budget which included commitments from Government including:
- the introduction of a £600m-a-year National Skills Fund, and
- a commitment of £1.8bn for capital investment in the FE estate.
- Further developments for consideration include:
- An overview of the current landscape for the FE sector;
- The independent review into the monitoring of FE college finances and financial management - key findings;
- Improving the oversight of colleges and adapting to the new insolvency regime - mergers, restructuring and sources of funding;
- Supporting best practice in governance and accountability of FE colleges, implementing the new insolvency regime, and next steps for funding;
- Further education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution;
- Enhancing FE provision in colleges - curriculum, careers advice and supporting progression, and learning from the impact of the pandemic and adapting to online delivery; and
- The College of the Future - latest findings from the Independent Commission.
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.
This one is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education; the National Audit Office and Department for International Trade.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference